What Virtual Reality is?
The term of Virtual Reality (VR) refers to computer simulated environment. Such an environment could be the one that exists in the real world or could be any other places that never existed at all. Most of the current virtual reality environments give the person just visual experiences, however, there are VR environments that also provide the person with an appropriate level of additional sensory information such as sound, smell, touch, etc. For sensing the VR environments, a person should use head-mounted display in which he/she sees the environment in either 2D or 3D. Having this head-mounted display and feeling to be in an environment, people can go wherever they want, introducing the concepts of telexistence or telepresence, or can go to the historical era they are interested in like renaissance etc. VR has found many applications in different aspects from virtual training of pilots, surgeons, soldiers to game industry, manufacturing, etc. Although currently you can go to wherever you want in VR environments, you still feel that your are in the virtual world not in the real one. The future of VR could be very terrifying as some scientists believe that it can considerably change the concepts of life, humanity, and existence.
Our Brain and Body
It may sound strange but our bodies are one of the most problematic matters we are born and always have challenge with. Our bodies have limitations of the physics law; are extremely fragile; and can be killed and injured easily instantaneously. Also, aging can greatly deteriorate our physical body. The bad news is that our brain die at the same time that our body does. Every human brain contains a great deal of experiences, memories, knowledge, and information. Every time a human brain dies, all of those unique experiences, knowledge, etc. dies with it and are lost forever. At the current time, we have no alternative for our lives and death. However, scientists anticipate that one day we will have the choice between living in the real life, or living inside of the computers and having immortal virtual life.
Virtual vs. Real World
Real world has many limitations and constrains governed by physical laws which virtual world does not. For example, when we want to go to another place, our physical body should go and it has its own great limitations. Also, we are not able to be somewhere instantaneously and it takes considerable amount of time to move from one place to another. In other words, time and space are dependent and coupled in the real world. However, in a virtual world, you can go from one place to another in a moment without having to move your body. Having these concepts in mind, two challenging questions are what we have done so far for overcoming the real world limitations and what we will do in future?
What we have done so far for overcoming the real world limitations?
Many technologies have been developed so far to reduce or eliminate the limitations of our real world. For example, telephones give us the chance of talking to people that are in different place (space). Internet also give us the ability of interacting and sharing our ideas with people, who are not in the same place as we are, in a 2D environment (screen of the PCs). Internet in its current state is just a flat experience of a virtual world, involving only 2D sight, and sound. Trends show that computers are going toward giving users 3D experiences of what they are watching which would be a great progress for more realistic interactions of human beings with each other. Last but not least, as it has been discussed, VR is the technology has been developed and proved to be very effective for eliminating such limitations.
what will we do in future?
human beings always have dreamed of immortality from mummification customs of ancient Egypt until now. The first step for being immortal is the complete dissolution of all the restrictions we were born with. Virtual Reality is a great tool to overcome all of the restrictions we are born with. The future will probably be giving human beings the opportunity of living in the virtual environment and feel as they are living in a real world that does not have limitations any more. Can you imagine? you will have an avatar that could be anything you like. Is it really possible to have such an avatar? “Vertebrane” will answer this interesting question.
Vertebrane refers to the system for a brain-computer interface. The idea of this concept is to replace one of the upper vertebra of the human spine with this interface. Having this interface into the body, the brain can be completely disconnected from other parts of the body and interestingly be connected to the computer. Having this connection, your brain can be connected to the computer and you can enjoy the things in the virtual world as they are real. This happens because it is your brain that gives you the sense of joy, happiness, sadness and other feelings. In short, you will have two modes, one is your real mode, the other is your ‘game mode’. In your real mode, the Vertebrane is off and you live in the real world. In your game mode, the Vertebrane is on; the brain is disconnected from your real body and reconnected to your avatar in the virtual reality environment on your computer. Your brain will be capable of controlling the avatar in the imaginary world and give you the feel that you are in the real world that has no limitations. Your body in the virtual reality will be superhuman, powerful, and beautiful. you can choose its appearance and power. Even you can fly in the sky with other humans or even with the creatures you never seen before. you can die and reborn. Death will be a meaningless concept in the virtual reality environment. Your muscles will be perfect and can do any work you want. You can go to the moon instantly and be with your friends right after. You can go to the different universes in a moment and visit any time period you want. You will be as beautiful as you want, as wealthy as you wish, eat anything you like in any quantity, and be as happy as you dream of. In short, you can be anyone, in anywhere, in any time, with anything. Having all these concepts in mind, followings are fundamental and serious questions must be taken into account in our futures:
Are you real? How long have you existed? Are you a human or an Avatar? Are you in a real world or virtual world? Are you going to live in the real world any more?
Is this future alluring or terrifying?